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HOME > Short Stories > Neddie and Beckie Stubtail > STORY VIII NEDDIE DOES A TRICK
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 Neddie and Beckie Stubtail, the little children bears, did not sleep very well the first night they ran away from home to become trained animals. There were several reasons for this. In the first place they had to sleep out of doors, and not in their own nice cave-house. And then, too, their papa and mamma were not with them.
“It—it’s lonesome,” whispered Beckie, waking up in the dark and putting out her paw to touch her brother. “Oh, Neddie, I wish I’d stayed home!”
“Hush! Go to sleep!” advised Neddie, kindly. “You’ll wake up George, the trained bear, and the Professor man if you talk.”
“Are they asleep?” whispered Beckie, feeling down in the leaves to see if her doll, Mary Ann Puddingstick Clothespin, was all right.
“Sure they’re asleep,” answered Neddie. “Hear ’em snore?”
66And, truly enough, you could hear that bear George snore as real as anything, honestly you could. What? You didn’t know bears snored? Well, did you ever sleep near one? I guess not! So, you see, you can’t tell. But I can.
“And it will soon be morning,” went on Neddie, “and then, maybe, we’ll travel on and on, and not have any lessons to do, and we may get buns and popcorn.”
“Yes, the trained bear did mention about buns,” said Beckie, and then, thinking of sweet buns and crackers she did manage to go to sleep.
But, oh! she did miss her mamma, and Aunt Piffy, the old bear lady, who was so fat. And more than once Neddie wished he might wake up and see Uncle Wigwag, even if the old bear gentleman did play a trick on him. And as for Mr. Whitewash, the Polar bear, Neddie would have given a whole penny to see him again for even a second.
Still, he had run away of his own free will, Neddie had, and he must make the best of it.
“Besides, I like it!” he said to himself. “I’m going to learn to be a trained bear, and, when Beckie and I get a lot of money we’ll go back home and make mamma and papa rich.”
Neddie thought it would be very easy to do this. In fact, he was a very kind little bear and 67had not meant to do wrong when he asked Beckie to run away with him.
But now let us see what happened.
Morning came at last. The sun rose from behind the hills, where it had slept all night, and made a bright light through the trees, from which all the leaves now had fallen.
“Well, children, did you sleep well?” asked George, the trained bear, as he wet his big paws in a spring of water and washed his face.
“Pretty well, thank you,” answered Neddie, politely.
“Do you think we will get some buns and popcorn to-day, George?” asked Beckie, anxiously.
“We might,” said the trained bear. “I’m sorry I made you think we trained bears had that sort of food every day. But if we don’t get it to-day I’m sure we will on Thursday, which will be Thanksgiving. And, anyhow, to-day we’ll travel on, and you’ll see me do my tricks, and you’ll hear the Professor blow his bugle and sing, and you’ll see the people standing around to look at me and wonder. And, who knows? perhaps you may do some tricks yourselves.”
“We can climb a telegraph pole, anyhow,” said Beckie, a bit proudly. “Even if it did take an alligator to scare us into doing it.”
68“Well, we’ll have breakfast and travel on,” said the Professor, after a bit. Then he reached in the bag again and pulled out some more dried bread.
“Only that!” whispered Neddie, and he thought of what a nice meal the folks at home were having—huckleberry pancakes, maybe, with maple sugar on, and hot buns and milk sweetened with honey.
“Oh, dear!” sighed Beckie, but she was a brave little bear girl and made up her mind not to find fault, especially after having run away when she didn’t really have to. So Beckie washed the face of her rubber doll, Mary Ann Puddingstick Clothespin, and made believe give her some breakfast.
Then Beckie and Neddie ate their dried bread, and so did George, the trained bear, and the Professor ate some too. Then the Professor played a lively tune on his bugle:
“Ta-ra! T............
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